Volume 79, Number 2, July 2007
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||03 July 2007|
Nanoscale observation of delayering in alkane films
Department of Physics and Astronomy and University of Missouri Research Reactor, University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO 65211, USA
2 National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven National Laboratory - Upton, NY 11973
3 Facultad de Física, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - Santiago 22, Chile
4 Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark - IK 207 DTU, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark
Accepted: 4 June 2007
Tapping-mode Atomic Force Microscopy and synchrotron X-ray scattering measurements on dotriacontane (n-C32H66 or C32) films adsorbed on SiO2-coated Si(100) wafers reveal a narrow temperature range near the bulk C32 melting point in which a monolayer phase of C32 molecules oriented perpendicular to surface is stable. This monolayer phase undergoes a delayering transition to a three-dimensional (3D) fluid phase on heating to just above and to a solid 3D phase on cooling below . An equilibrium phase diagram provides a useful framework for interpreting the unusual spreading and receding of the monolayer observed in transitions to and from the respective 3D phases.
PACS: 68.08.Bc – Wetting / 68.43.Hn – Structure of assemblies of adsorbates (two- and three-dimensional clustering) / 87.64.Dz – Scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopy
© Europhysics Letters Association, 2007
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